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00:30:00

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San Francisco 13, Us 8, New York 5, Chinatown 4, David Chan 3, Boston 3, Garrett 2, Richmond 2, Chicago 2, John Avalos 1, Braley 1, Rebecca Prozan 1, Christina Olague 1, Avalos 1, Libertiville 1, Us Up 1, Chen 1, Mar 1, Sfo 1, Olague 1,
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  SFGTV    [untitled]  

    October 7, 2012
    10:00 - 10:30am PDT  

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behind the most of the people being evicted out of the city of san francisco in terms of the laws that they lay, what they're, the arrogance of their position. when you have the residents go before them because they are not being, they are not under the eye of observation. then you really see the bad side of why you need to bring this organization to the light where they could be observed. i think it's a good thing but by the same, we need it done like 25 years ago. >> thank you. >> thank you very much.
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next speaker. >> my name is [inaudible] ladies and gentlemen. the history goes back to 25 years ago to the housing authority and my statement i have been using at your commission for years, ain't no mystery, check your history. ladies and gentlemen, there's deeper history in what we're talking about with the city government channel. i'm the one that started that, i'm not going to get the hand for that because of same things the housing authority tenants went through 20 years ago. ladies and gentlemen, i am happy, tickled not pink by black right now because most of the tenants are african-americans. i stand here as the czar of the african-american out migration. i am so happy that my supervisor
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in the fifth district had the courage to come forward for something 25 years ago. we brought the needs of the redevelopment to the san francisco government channel. i can't say it all right now. i am ecstatic. i am so happy that the supervisors are doing something that i call community reform. we're going to show and demonstrate not only that department, but there are several other departments that need to come before the eyes of city government. i got a unique technique call in your face. right now in your face. i have been discriminated against. yes, commissioner wiener, you can yawn all you want. i am so glad kristina stepped forward and doing the right thing in the most progressive
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district. i am ace dog gone in. we're going to be on the case in front of you. i know you can't deny it. >> next speaker, please. >> hard act to follow. sarah short with the san francisco housing rights. a lot of people come in when they have issues with their repairs or evictions or rent increases and such. so, we've talked to many, many public housing residents throughout the years and believe this would greatly benefit the whole population. what this resolution does is, it sends a powerful message to over 25,000 public housing and section 8, let's not forget, residents in san francisco, and it sends the message that we
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believe that they are entitled to participate in the democratic process. unfortunately, the fact that they're commission meetings have been in another location not only not recorded but often not even available online and not in a timely fashion. not tape recorded. a lot of people don't know what's going on at the housing authority commission meetings and these are residents that are impacted. and you know, this special treatment that the housing authority commission has been given you know, it's perhaps the only city department that is in this special position. so i see this as a really common sense measure that would bring
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parody. even the quasi-agents meet in city hall most of the time. this the send a meaningful message to the residents that the city hall does not believe they are second class and that they deserve the right to see what is happening with the government body of their housing agency. >> thank you. ms. short. i appreciate it. next speaker. >> this is not here today so i'm going to read the speech. >> i am song won chen. [inaudible] is an organization established by the public housing developments in chinatown. we have 413 households living in the area. limited english-speaking families. the current location is very inconvenient for us. many of us do not know how to
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get there. on the other hand, we know how to get to city hall, we have more chance of options going to city hall. in addition, many of residents are seniors with physical disabilities. it's difficult for them to get around. having the meetings live on tv would give them the chance for an update. for working families, they can watch online. by having it broadcasted, it will bring back the relationship with the agency. we ask you move the commission meetings to city hall and broadcast for the public. >> thank you very much. next speaker. >> willie radcliffe, libertiville. and the daily news paper and i also just started a limited partnership for development.
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but the housing authority has -- needs light shined on it what's going on. they spend a lot of money, especially in bayview hunter's point and district 10. but people of color have been locked out. also some time there's contracts left out for people to do development and no one else was asked to even be involved or knew it was coming up. so that is government money and we looking at it. and i'm glad that they agree that, for us to do this, that they agree to do it and not try to fight it. i won't say some of the things i know, but i know one thing, we need to shine a light on what's going on over there, and i appreciate the supervisors that brought this up. it's a good thing. any time you open up the light,
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it's like sunshine coming up in the morning. wakes us up. i appreciate it and hope you will go along with even them not going against it. thank you. >> next speaker. >> thank you. you start off with the civil grand jury and end here too. it was a year ago in which the civil grand jury asked to you think about putting the ethics commission on television, and i think that has been a great success. i think probably your ratings are the highest you have ever had for sf gov tv. i encourage you to open us this agency including the sunshine task force. >> thank you. any additional public comment? public comment is closed.
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>> can we move this forward without objection? >> i want to thank the public and city staff in bringing this forward. i am a believer in more sunshine and televising meetings will help to hold everyone accountable. i was happy to support this. >> chsupervisor chui. i absolutely understand the point. i will be supporting the legislation, but i do want to express reservations i have about it. i know we have limited space with sfgtv to cover this. i hope this will promote the housing authority to see if there's availability of space within city hall and that doesn't conflict with the other meeting to figure out what we
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can possibly do. that's an important issue we face with many commissions in city hall. i also want to make sure the housing authority is taking a look at the trade off. if we have a meeting at city hall versus elsewhere, are we going to be disinfranchising others? i am sure the housing authority will consider those as limp one of biggest things about televising anything is the cost. i hope the housing authority as they are looking forward to the budget evaluates whether or not they can afford this. i will be supportive of this because i understand the desire the folks to see this and access it and have it in the public light. there is things the housing authority needs to review in order to make this become something that is a reality. again, i will be supportive. but availability of space, trade off to the meetings, space and access to it and of course funding is always something we need to look forward to.
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thank you. >> thank you. so colleagues, can we forward this recommendation to the full board? without objection. >> and then, through the chair. >> can i ask if we rescind items 3, 4, 5 and 7 to vote on? >> without objection, can we do that? >> rescind three, four, five and seven. as to items three, four and five, the motion was to file items three and four and to move items 5 to the full board, excuse me, did you mean -- >> three, four, five and seven. >> okay. >> so with respect to item three, the motion was to as amended move the responses to the full board with recommendation. can we do that? >> i will make that motion.
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>> without objection, >> item four to move. >> without objection, so ordered. item five, the motion was to move item number five to the full board with recommendation. >> so moved. >> without objection. >> item seven, the motion was to move to the full board with recommendation, >> mr. chair. item five was amended. >> that's correct. so, for item number 5. the motion was to move forward to the full board as amended with positive recommendation. can we take objection? >> yes. >> item 7, the motion was to move to the full board with positive recommendation? >> can we take that objection? >> so moved. >> are there any other items before the committee? >> no. we have no further matters. >> okay. we are a
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good morning, welcome to the public safety committee of the board of supervisors. my name is supervisor john avalos, the chair. i'm joined by christina olague, the vice chair and supervisor eric mar. the clerk is dean na braley. our staff at sfgtv, who are helping broadcast are jesse lar son and nona millconian. madam clerk. >> please make sure to silence all cell phones and devices. completed cards to be included as part of the file should be submitted to the clerk. items acted upon today will appear on the october 16th board of supervisors agenda unless otherwise stated. >> thank you. could you please call our one item. >> a hearing regarding theft scams targeting older asian women. >> thank you. this is an item that has
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been sponsored by supervisor eric mar. supervisor mar, the floor is yours. >> thank you, chair avalos. thank you for coming, everyone, this morning. the past few months we have been hearing, especially in the chinese media of these types of theft scams targeting chinese elderly. they have made me very angry. not just because it is criminals praying on some of our most vulnerable but also it's been heavily impacting not only chinatown but richmond and sunset district. i really am appreciative of the law enforcement and community-based agencies that are here with us today. how they have really worked together to try to crack down to make sure people are aware of these scams and we can as a city kind of move forward to prevent them for the future. so this hearing is on a number of these types of
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scams that have happened over the past few months. they tend to target older chinese women in san francisco. since january of this year there have been a series reported. again, it is older asian or chinese women. it involves the theft of jewelry and money obtained under false pretense. nearly 50 of these cases have been reported in san francisco. it's totaled over $1.5 million of losses in cash and jewelry. many of these cases also again have taken place not only in chinatown but also sunset and richmond district. similar cases also have been reported in new york, chicago, boston and seattle. i wanted to invite up a number of the reps from our law enforcement and community agencies from the police department, san francisco district attorney's office rebecca prozan and david chan. first lieutenant art stelini.
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he's the chief investigator. thank you, lieutenant stelini. >> thank you, good morning, supervisors. as the lieutenant in the special victim's unit oversees the crimes district the responsibility of these crimes have fallen under our umbrella. as you can see in the handouts before you, to date of 2012 we have approximately 50 of these such cases reported to us. they are broken down into series. we have the first series, a major series at the beginning of the year, which totaled approximately 35 police reports. in that case we originally detained six people at san francisco inter national airport. from those six, three were charged criminally here in san francisco, are in custody, awaiting their court hearings. there is another court hearing set for tomorrow on arguments on that case.
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the second series was approximately another 12 police reports, 12 victims here in san francisco. we have no arrests in that series, though we do -- we have identified our suspects by photo but not by name. our third series are two victims. on that one we captured the crime actually of one of the victims on video. we have that video to show you, if you'd like to see it. it is approximately four minutes long. >> actually, yes. that would be good. we also have captain garrett tom of the central police station that is with us, besides the assistant district attorney rebecca prozen and david chen. *. i think it would be good to watch the video. >> i have it pre-loaded but i don't know how to get it on your big screens. >> deana, do you know how to get this going?
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>> i think you start the video, i will put the mic on. >> sorry, there was no audio. it was captured from a residence security camera turned over to the police. >> okay. we will view the video. you can talk over it too, if you can explain. >> while you are watching the video what you need to pay attention to is at some point the female hands over a bag to another female. then another suspect joins hands with our victim, almost like they are praying. at that point the bag switch is made, unknown to our victim. that is when the money switch is made. the bags, as you will see, will be identical. >> i think we need to hit play. >> that is your victim handing over the bag.
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the lady in the rear just made the bag switch with the main suspect. >> there's the praying. >> she had already touched her hands. two will leave. another one will leave with our victim. two of the suspects will stay and wait for a fourth suspect to arrive, who takes the money and walks away. a much younger asian lady. >> how was this caught on video? >> this is security camera from a residence. when security went out to scope the area, one of the things they looked for were the cameras.
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the lady off to the far right has the money. she's already made the switch. as usually in these type of cases the victim is told not to open the bag, not to touch it for several days. sometimes two weeks, three weeks, a month. for the most part, that is what they do. there are cases where they start having doubt and tell somebody what happened to them. then they realized they may have been duped. they look inside and discover they have been a victim of a crime. there have several different ruses they will use. these are strangers. these women are trained at what they do. they hone their skills.
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they are very good. in real life when they commit their crimes -- here is the hand-off right now of the fourth or fifth suspect who comes in, puts the bag in another bag and walks away. >> okay. >> they separate. they are not together. the one suspect who actually has the cash, our victim is never seen. she is walking down the street, our suspects get detained. the money is not there. when i worked narcotics. one would have the narcotics. another would hand off the money. if the person with the narcotics got arrested the person with the money ran free. again, they are trained at what they do, practice their skills. i strongly believe they target their victims. they watch their victims, watch to see if they are
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alone. if they have a purse or coming out of a store. real life they are not taking the money in the purse. they have the victims go to their homes and take the cash. they will tell them such stories as years ago your father stepped in blood, now he has evil spirits. if we don't pray together, if you don't bring your money or jewelry, something bad will happen to you or your children. this is one of the stories they spin. again, it sounds as far-fetched. again, san francisco, we have had over 50. these are the ones that are reported to us. >> lieutenant stelini, can i ask how do the scam artists advertise they will provide this service to people. how do they get their victims to know that they are going to -- >> it is is a series.
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all these women approach their victim as strangers. one does not know the other as they spin their story. they will approach the victim and say in one instance, i need to go to the doctor. do you know where there is a doctor's office. the victim will say, gee, i don't know. another will say, yes, there is a doctor's office down the block. they start with something that simple. before you know it you have four women, five women engaged in a conversation. they get her -- bring her down. get her to a comfort zone but emotionally overwhelming her. one is building on the other's statements. when they tell her the evil spirits are coming, something bad will happen to the family, the other two or three will reinforce that statement. again, they are working on
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our elderly community. that is who they are targeting. >> can i ask, of the 50 reported cases -- i'm sure it is embarrassing if you have been ripped off like this, but do we have a sense of how many have not reported this? >> no. i would venture for the 50 we have, there may be another 50 to 100 out there that are not reported. it is very tough for an elderly person to admit something is wrong. not only in these types of cases with the elderly but all sorts of different life consequences that our elderly face every day, that they do not want to report what's happened to them, to the police or family members, as it may alter their lifestyle. we covered how the crime is, who our suspects are, our victims are. to date, as i said earlier,
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we have three people in custody in san francisco. two of the three in san francisco are still awaiting charges in new york, based on their crimes there. of the six that we detain at sfo, one a warrant was issued for her out of new york. they came and picked her up about two months ago and extradited her back to new york. two, the other people we detain at the airport, boston, secured warrants for their arrest but decided not to extradite them to their county. >> are there any other questions for the lieutenant? >> just really briefly, thank you, lieutenant. when were these arrested? when was the period of time these arrests were made? >> about two months ago. two, three months ago. the arrest was gathered through working with the special victim's unit for
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two to three-day period we had every inspector in that unit working on this case. over 30 people working on it. that is what it took. we were in communications on two or three occasions simultaneously with new york, boston, chicago and u.s. immigration services. >> thank you, lieutenant. the next speaker is captain garrett tom of the central police station. thank you, captain. >> good afternoon, supervisors avalos, olague. i would like to talk about what we have done at central station. tremendous outreach. in addition we have started a mini task force to focus on this crime and a mini task force includes five officers, all bilingual,
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they speak chinese. they saturated the area when this was going on. they did a lot of investigation and retrieved video through the investigation and re-walked all the crimes. they re-interviewed victims and just did countless work. i would like to thank david chan from s.a.f.e. who helped us with translations. in our outreach we wrote three fliers to the community for them to post. also videos. the video you just saw, we showed them at the senior centers. chinese newcomer service center, town hall meetings with the district attorney's office, chinatown community development center. i have a senior lunch program i go with my foot beat once a month. we go to a senior's center. after we serve the seniors lunch, we also show them the video. we had a lot of positive
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feedback. some of the seniors told us they were approached by these people. in addition, david chan and i went to a radio show and did a call-in. we provided an anonymous tip line. we got a lot of clues from that opportunity there. chief sure and commander biel went on chinese television. we had a media blitz with the tao daily where they covered this almost every day during the height of this heinous crime. the people in my task force, they took it very personally, just like you supervisor mar, because most were from the community. it wasn't a ten-hour or eight-hour job. these officers were very dedicated. they worke